2 Jun 2014

Washington-2 Jun 2014 – While awaiting Pres. Obama Executive Order on new EPA Regulations later today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (EPA) Gina McCarthy offered a blunt defense of the Obama administration’s new rule to cut carbon dioxide pollution, touting its benefits against mounting criticism from the coal industry and some members of Congress. Arguably the most important step any country has taken to combat climate change, the new rule focuses on fossil fuel-burning power plants. They account for 40% of U.S. emissions, making them the single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions, the main driver of global warming. The proposed rule seeks to reduce power plant emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. Carbon dioxide emissions have already fallen more than 10% since 2005, which would make the effective reduction more like 15% to 17%, experts said.

On 2 Jun 2014 Speaking to a a room full of staff members, and environmental allies, at the EPA headquarters in Washington. Ms. McCarthy said: “Given the astronomical price we pay for climate inaction, the most costly thing we can do is to do nothing…There are still special interest skeptics who will cry the sky is falling. Who will deliberately ignore the risks, overestimate the costs, and undervalue the benefits. But the facts are clear. For over four decades, EPA has cut air pollution by 70% and the economy has more than tripled.”

MS McCARTHY STUCK TO THE SAME THEMES. She opened her speech with an anecdote about seeing Parker Frey, an active but severely asthmatic 10-year-old boy, on a recent trip she took to a Cleveland clinic. McCarthy said Parker’s mother lamented that on some days, the air quality is so poor that it was dangerous for the boy to play outdoors. “In the United States of America, no parent should ever have that worry,” she said. “That’s why EPA exists. Our job, directed by our laws, reaffirmed by our courts, is to protect public health and the environment. Climate change, fueled by carbon pollution, supercharges risks not just to our health, but to our communities, our economy and our way of life…Special Interests who warn of severe economic consequences of the rules have historically decried all environmental protections have cried wolf to protect their own agenda. And time after time, we followed the science, protected the American people, and the doomsday predictions never came true. Now, climate change is calling our number. And right on cue, those same critics once again will flaunt manufactured facts and scare tactics.”

The EPA has proposed individual state targets based on each state’s fuel mix, with coal states starting and ending at a higher emissions level than those that use more of cleaner-burning natural gas and renewable (green energy). The states can then pick from a menu of options in order to achieve the cuts. The Obama administration has long held that combating climate change is about protecting public health and economic growth, and to underscore that, the president will make his own comments later in the day in a press call with the American Lung Assn.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL, himself from the coal-heavy state of Kentucky, called the new regulations: “a dagger in the heart of the American middle class.” Before the rules came out, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it would cost the economy $50 billion annually and hundreds of thousands of jobs. We suppose that is what Ms. Gina McCarthy was talking about when she said: “same critics once again flaunt manufactured facts and scare tactics”.

Thanks to the LA Times for their timeliness and excellent quotations.


We were happy to see the EPA administrator sound emboldened by Pres. Obama’s use of Executive Powers to bring Fossil-fuel fired power plants to the realization that their days of wantonly polluting our air/water always, placing profit above the health of our citizens, are at an end. BUT! this proposed plan is just hoopla, and EPA CYA propaganda. Ms. McCarthy talks the talk, but does not walk the walk!

After reading the new 2030 Plan Proposal >  I’ve come to the conclusion that EPA has an excellent grasp of the primary polluters, where they live , and how bad they are (they have always known), Problem is: EPA IS NOT YET MANDATING ACTION ON A SPEEDY TIMELINE. Hence they are once again “Proposing” pollution abatement but based on a 16 year timeline, while soliciting voluntary action “By 2030”. Why? no boy! that is too little too late!

Letting each State seeking its own solutions is “pie in the sky”. Hell! here in Texas ( the country’s worst air polluter) not a darn thing will happen because the offenders own the State legislature, and our Governor proposed the law to make Texas independent from EPA, and to defer all such actions to the Texas Commission Environmental  Quality (TCEQ).  This proposal is ONE MORE “LOOK GOOD ACTION” by Ms. McCarthy et-al.  She promises a lot, but delivers little. Ms. McCarthy should be replaced ASAP. We have recommended that many times in the past.

We expected President Obama to provide serious and specific action concomitant with his Executive Powers, but he wasted a wonderful opportunity to bring about swift action. Pre. Obama had public opinion, the supreme court, and Executive Powers under the Clean Air Act (a trifecta); hence the obligation to take meaningful action, and he squandered the opportunity; Further, by even failing to make the announcement himself, after promising to do so, he opened himself to Republican critics in the House, and the Senate. It is an understatement to say we are greatly disappointed. In the meantime, the Fossil-fuel industry has revved-up it propaganda machine into survival mode.  It angers us to see how gullible they think we are.


Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

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P.S. We are happy to announce that the month of May 2014, This publication had the largest readership in its history, and was read in 65 countries; that alone, enjoyed about 9,000 views/visits; that too was a high water-mark for our publication. Another encouraging fact is that many of our readers are “visitors” people that “make a difference”, and frequently return to look in on us. We encourage you to place our publication among your “favorites”, and look in on us from time to time; we average about two (2) posts per month. Thank you for your viewership; most specially, to viewers in other languages for tolerating the inevitable cultural translation glitches This publication attempts to “make a difference”, and modestly feel that we do.  Sometimes it may feel like that we are not making an impact on developments, but let history be the judge of that. I am not discouraged! The truth always triumphs in the end. Thank you once again.




June 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM Comments (0)


27 May 2014

WASHINGTON – 26 May 2014President Obama is expected to announce on 2 Jun 2014 an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants; In a speech that government analysts all over the world will probably scrutinize to determine how serious the president is about fighting global warming. The regulation will be Pres. Obama’s most forceful effort to reverse 20 years of relative inaction on climate change by the United States, which has stood as the greatest obstacle to international efforts to slow the rise of heat-trapping gases from burning coal and oil that scientists say are the cause of climate warming. Scientists have also warned that collective action, with carbon cuts by all the major economies is essential to achieve the drastic reduction in carbon pollution necessary to stave off the most destructive impacts of global warming.

PRES. OBAMA EARLIER TRIED, WITHOUT SUCCESS, to move a Climate Change bill through Congress in his first term, but even now such legislation would not stand a chance of getting past the resistance of Republican lawmakers who question the science of climate change. So, Pres. Obama is taking a controversial step: He is using his executive authority under the 1970 the Clean Air Act by means of an E.P.A. regulation taking aim at coal-fired power plants, the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution. The new EPA rule comes at a crucial moment in the fraught international effort to slow global warming. In March, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, released a report warning that human-caused climate change is leading to food and water shortages, extreme heat waves and droughts, rising sea levels, and stronger storms.

IN CHINA THERE IS GREAT ANTICIPATION Mr. Qi Ye, director of the Climate Policy Center at Tsinghua University in China said: “I am closely watching this. This standard is the real test of how serious the Obama climate action plan really is…If the standard is really stringent, that will make a difference in the domestic debate in China,” Mr. Qi added that while he did not expect the Chinese government to publicly comment on the E.P.A. rule, a strong regulation — like one that led to a 20 % cut in coal plant pollution — could stimulate policy changes. “It will have an impact,” The Tsinghua university is one of about half a dozen institutions that the Chinese government has tasked with immediately analyzing the new rule, according to Chinese experts.China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies and greenhouse gas polluters, are locked in a stalemate over global warming. While today China pollutes more than the United States, Chinese officials insist that, as a developing economy, China should not be forced to take carbon-cutting actions. China has demanded that the United States, as the world’s historically largest polluter, go first. Chinese policy experts say that Pres. Obama’s regulation could end that standoff.

IN RUSSIA CLIMATE CHANGE IS SNUBBED Vladimir Milov, former Russian deputy minister of energy and president of the Institute of Energy Policy, a Moscow think tank said: “It (Russia) is a very climate-change-skeptical society.” President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia is an open skeptic of climate science; of course, Russia, is one of the world’s largest producers of oil and gas, and so has generally been dismissive of efforts to forge a climate change treaty. Sorry to say, Russia appears to be living in an “isolationist bubble”.

EUROPEAN UNION’s GÜNTER HÖRMANDINGER, Environmental counselor to the European Union delegation in Washington said: “We’re very excited to see the new rule on existing power plants. We see this as absolutely the backbone of U.S. climate strategy…Once it’s out, I will be rushing to understand it and report back to Brussels,” Mr. Hörmandinger, is an Austrian who has spent the past four(4) years studying the Clean Air Act. The European Union, enacted a carbon-cutting policy after the Kyoto Protocol (1997), has been among the critics of the United States’ Climate Change Non-Policy

IN MEXICO SENIOR CLIMATE POLICY ADVISER, MR. MARIO MOLINA said: “I think it can be done legally, going back to the Supreme Court decision that led to US-EPA.’s authority to regulate carbon emissions” Mexico enacted an ambitious climate change law in 2012, and has urged other Latin American nations to pass similar legislation.

IN PERU’S ENVIRONMENT MINISTER, MR.MANUEL PULGAR-VIDAL commented about US Senator Marco Rubio (Florida Republican who is viewed as a potential presidential candidate): “Senator Rubio shows us that there are still people who are skeptical of the science, even though we are already suffering the consequences of climate change…The government faces resistant actors, skepticism from political leaders it’s the same in the international arena”. It is true that Senator Rubio questioned the science of climate warming in May 2014 on ABC News’s “This Week.” (The things an intelligent man will say to follow party line!).

IN SAUDI ARABIA, WORLD”S LARGEST OIL PRODUCER/EXPORTER is paying close attention; They have sought to block global action on climate change; Naturally, all economies that are deeply dependent on producing fossil fuels fear that lowering the global demand for oil and gas presents a grave economic threat.

IN LEBANON, MR. WAEL HMAIDAN, DIRECTOR OF “CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK” said: “Everyone knows that the U.S. is key to achieve any solution to the climate change crisis…Many OPEC countries, who do not want to see the world wean itself from fossil fuels, realize this.”

“THE ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES” ISSUES AN URGENT PLEA Ronald Jean Jumeau, the UN ambassador from the island nation of Seychelles, and a spokesman for the Alliance of Small Island States said: “We are anticipating the rule with more urgency than those in the small island nations that could be threatened if sea levels rise. A series of scientific reports have concluded that as the planet warms, melting polar ice will drive up sea levels two to four feet by the end of the century, threatening the very existence of some of those islands. The path we’re on right now is that our country will disappear…This (ruling)will slow things down and give us more time to adapt and restructure our economies. Taking action now gives us more breathing room”. Sadly, they seem resigned to what many countries will not. Sea-level is rising inexorably, and will continue to accelerate. Entire Island communities, with many centuries of tranquil lives, have already been evacuated. The map of the earth land mass will look very differently 100 years hence. It is already changing dramatically; still, many think that is a transitory phenomenon.  Sorry, it is not.

IN THE USA, KING COAL STRONGLY OPPOSES NEW RULING Chiefly the nation’s coal industrialists, are preparing to fight with lawsuits, and global analysts are assessing/waiting with baited breath to see if the “Clean Air Act US-EPA rule will stand against such attacks.

UNITED NATIONS SUMMIT PLANNED FOR DEC 2014 IN LIMA PERU, leaders from many nations will gather in Lima, Peru at a meeting aimed at drafting a treaty, to be signed in 2015, which would legally bind the world’s major economies to cut their carbon pollution. The goal is to avoid the debacle of the “1997 Kyoto Protocol”, the world’s first attempt to forge a climate change treaty, was effectively rendered null when the United States Senate refused to ratify it. Now, as Pres. Obama exercises his authority under the “Clean Air Act”, governments around the world are taking notice, and are eagerly awaiting to see the new USA EPA coal burning standards.

Thanks to the NY Times for their 26 May 2014 article



FINALLY! Pres. Obama will mandate action in compliance with the authority given him under the Clean Air Act. We hope/anticipate EPA will issue standards and regulations to abate airborne and other pollutants released by the some 600 coal-fired utilities in the USA. The shame of it is EPA has known all along who these utilities are but has been unable to elicit voluntary action by these folks to clean up their act. –NO! NO! Not if it costs money, has been their mantra.  There are many technologies available that they could institute and have not. Profit is their only motivation.

Now it is not only the “eyes of Texas”, it is the entire world waiting to see what we (the USA) will do. It is crucial that we do the right thing because carbon output reductions by all the major economies is essential, to begin to impact climate change. Many world economies look upon the USA as a leader. I only regret that by rejecting the Kyoto Accord, we have provided such a bad example for many years. Oh! Yes, all humanity lives upon “spaceship earth” (the blue marble), let us hope we can keep it looking good.

BIG COAL/OIL DON”T CARE  It is to be expected that many coal/oil producing/exporting countries choose to place profit ahead of their social responsibility. They need to reconsider their socio-political stand. Their children (and ours) will ask questions in the future that cannot be answered without a sense of shame. In the USA the Coal cartel is ready to put up a huge legal/political fight; that is too bad, because they will waste money on lawyers, and corrupt politicians in a futile attempt to reverse Presidential and Supreme Court designs, plus the clearly expressed desires of most Americans (see Gallup Poll). The coal Industry would be better-off to spend their profits on extreme coal-fired plant improvements, or transition to Nat Gas, or better yet, start investing in green energy.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


P.S. A huge amount of e-marketing spam has motivated us to shut down our “Comments”. However, if you feel strongly about any issue regarding any recent article, please send us an e-mail, and we will publish it as a comment.




Gina McCarthy- EPA Admin Was Grilled By Senate Committee on Environment—16 Jan 2014;





And many, many, earlier articles related to coal-fired utilities and the damage they cause to our environment.

May 28, 2014 at 1:11 AM Comment (1)


30 April 2014

WASHINGTON In a major victory for the USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the USA Supreme Court on 29 April 2014 upheld the authority of the EPA to regulate the smog from coal-fired utilities that drifts across state lines from 27 Midwestern and Appalachian states to the East Coast. The Supreme Court 6 to 2 (one abstaining) ruling bolsters the centerpiece of President Obama’s environmental agenda: A series of new regulations aimed at cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants (utilities and similar).

SUPREME JUSTICE GINBURG WROTE THE DECISION “In reining-in interstate pollution, regulators must account for the vagaries of the wind…Some pollutants stay within upwind states’ borders, the wind carries others to downwind states, and some subset of that group drifts to states without air quality problem” She quoted the Christian Book of John: “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth.” The Supreme Court decision is only the latest blow to the coal Industry, and to coal users. Also on 29 April 2014, a Federal District Court ordered the EPA to propose by 1 Dec 2014 a new nationwide regulation to rein in smog pollution from coal-fired power plants and other major polluters. This rule would come on top of the regulation covering cross-state air pollution. Two weeks ago, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld another major EPA Clean Air Act rule that would reduce coal-plant pollution from mercury.

ACADEMIA AND LEGAL EAGLES SATISFIED Jody Freeman, director of the environmental law program at Harvard U said “It’s a big win for the E.P.A., and not just because it has to do with this rule, It’s the fact that it’s setting the stage and creating momentum for what’s to come If the Supreme Court had decided against the Obama administration in Tuesday’s decision, Ms. Freeman said it would have been a shot across the bow to the EPA as it takes the next steps  Legal experts said the decision signals that the Obama administration’s efforts to use the Clean Air Act to fight global warming could withstand legal challenges. In June 2014 the EPA is expected to propose a sweeping new Clean Air Act regulation to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping greenhouse gas that scientists say is the chief cause of climate change. Coal plants are the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

EPA Administrator Gina Mc Carthy said:“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a resounding victory for public health and a key component of E.P.A.’s efforts to make sure all Americans have clean air to breathe…the court’s finding also underscores the importance of basing the agency’s efforts on strong legal foundations and sound science.”

EPA ARGUMENTS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT: Stated the rules were necessary to protect the health and the environment of downwind states. East Coast states in particular are vulnerable to pollution blown by the prevailing west-to-east winds of the United States. The soot and smog produced by coal plants are linked to asthma, lung disease and premature death.

DISSENTING JUSTICES, ANTONIN SCALIA AND CLARENCE THOMAS AGREED when Justice Scalia said:”the regulation is unwieldy and suggested it was Marxist…As written, the regulation will require upwind polluting states to cut pollution in relation to the amounts of pollution each state produces, but also as a proportion of how affordably a state can make the cuts. In other words, states that are able to more cost-effectively reduce pollution will be required to cut more of it…I fully acknowledge that the proportional-reduction approach will demand some complicated computations where one upwind state is linked to multiple downwind states and vice versa…I am confident, however, that E.P.A.’s skilled number-crunchers can adhere to the statute’s quantitative (rather than efficiency) mandate by crafting quantitative solutions. Indeed, those calculations can be performed at the desk, whereas the ‘from each according to its ability ( paraphrasing Communist Karl Marx) approach requires the unwieldy field examination of many pollution-producing sources with many sorts of equipment” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. recused (abstained) himself from the case.

REPUBLICANS AND THE COAL INDUSTRY have often blasted the proposed regulations, which use the “Clean Air Act” as their legal authority, as a “war on coal”. The coal industry has waged an aggressive legal battle to undo the rules. The interstate air pollution regulation, also known as the “good neighbor rule” has pitted Rust Belt and Appalachian states like Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky against East Coast states like New York and Connecticut. The utilities and 15 states opposed to the regulations argue that the rules, as written by the Obama administration, gave the EPA excessive authority, and placed an unfair economic burden on the polluting states; the decision will force coal-fired utility owners to install costly “scrubber” technology to curb smokestack pollution of smog-forming chemicals.

NATURALLY, COAL-FIRED UTILITY OWNERS ARE OPPOSED. Stating the regulation would be so expensive to implement, that many expected to shut down their oldest and dirtiest coal plants. Rep Fred Upton(R-Mi), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep Edward Whitfield, (R-Kt) said in a joint statement. “This is just the latest blow to jobs and affordable energy…The administration’s overreaching regulation will drive up energy costs and threaten jobs and electric reliability. We cannot allow E.P.A.’s aggressive regulatory expansion to go unchecked. We will continue our oversight of the agency and our efforts to protect American families and workers from E.P.A.’s onslaught of costly rules.” Both Reps. Upton and Whitfield represent states that rely heavily on cheap coal-fired utilities.

EARLIER EFFORTS TO IMPLEMENT THE CLEAN AIR ACT FAILED: In 2011, the Obama administration issued the “good neighbor rule”, which was to apply to 27 states east of Nebraska (half of the country); but the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck it down, ruling that the EPA had not followed the Clean Air Act when it calculated how to assign responsibility for “cross-state air pollution”. The Supreme Court’s ruling overturned that decision.

EAST COAST STATES HAVE TOUGHER AIR POLLUTION STANDARDS Governors from East Coast states have for more than 15 years been subject to tougher air pollution requirements than other parts of the country, and have long criticized the Appalachian and Rust Belt states for their more lenient rules on pollution from coal plants, factories and tailpipes so that their state economies to profit from cheap energy while their smog and soot have been carried eastward by prevailing winds.

Thanks to The New York Times for their 29 April 2014 story, here redacted in the interest of brevity.


FINALLY! THE EPA HAS THE LAW BEHIND ITS “CLEAN AIR ACT” ENFORCEMENT – None too soon the coal fired industry can see that Americans, and our laws, are fully supportive of any , and all efforts needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our our coal burners. Even so it will take time for the USS COALBURNER to change its act, and change its course. Shareholders even mention the necessity to clean up their dirtiest utilities, or shut them down! It is about time. They know there are many technologies they could use to reduce emissions, and yet they have not done anything simply for greater profits. The best of all would be to transition to Nat Gas use where it is available. Fortunately, in America Nat Gas is available to many now, as a result of Fracking. Coal burning is not the only way to generate high temperature steam. Yes, changes cost money to implement, but they will also save potentially millions of lives from the pain and suffering inflicted by smog, and mercurial pollution now rampant. One would think these Shareholders live elsewhere, but we are all on Planet Earth. Yes, their children too!

Another very interesting development in American politics last week was the announcement by Pres. Obama that he would withhold his decision regarding the Keystone (CANAM heavy Oleoduct) to Texas, until after the upcoming congressional elections in the fall. Pres. Obama knows full well that most Republicans, and a few sellout Democrats would prefer not to be accountable to their electorate before the election about such vital issues as energy, its development, and its use. Such vital issues need to get injected into our electoral process. We must demand that our political candidates make their position known on such vital issues as energy, and water during their campaign. The world’s largest democracy, India, is teaching us all a lesson about the politics of the future > They must include all vital concerns such as clean air, clean water, and sufficient energy. Yes we can do these things, but we must start now!-Every country in their own way, but always looking for our vital needs first.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

P.S. A huge amount of e-marketing spam has motivated us to shut down our “Comments”. However if you feel strongly about any issue regarding any recent article, please send us an e-mail, and we will publish it as a comment.



April 30, 2014 at 12:55 AM Comment (1)


3 Mar 2014

Prof Frank Kelly, Chair of the Department of Health’s Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution, and a member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Air Quality Expert Group said: “Schools in areas affected by severe air pollution should keep pupils indoors at lunchtime to avoid them having asthma attacks and potentially lifelong lung damage…(they) should be stopped from using the playground during school hours to reduce their exposure to the smog that is affecting south-east England and is expected to spread to the Midlands and East Anglia”. Prof. Kelly’s advice comes after some schools in the capital decided to keep their pupils indoors on 2 Apr 2014 as a precaution. Asked to elaborate, Prof Kelly said: “As a general response this is a good approach as children tend to run around outside and therefore breathe deeper. Thus on days like this they will be inspiring(breathing-in) a lot more pollution if outdoors than when they are breathing normally (hopefully) inside…The policy should apply to morning and afternoon breaks, as well as lunchtime…Advice would be the same for recesses if pollution levels were increased at the school location…pupils with asthma may need to use their inhalers, while those with other breathing conditions could suffer serious harm if exposed to the high level of pollution being seen in London”. NOTICE THAT PROF. KELLY USED THE WORD “SMOG”.

LONG TERM DAMAGE OF AIR POLUTION IN THE YOUNG Prof. Kelly added: “Besides those children whose asthma may be exacerbated by pollution and who would then need to increase their medication, the main issue is related to pollution exposure on a chronic basis as current evidence indicates that lung growth is restricted. If there is no subsequent catch-up lung growth then this respiratory deficit is carried forward through life”. BAD NEWS! IN NORTH LONDON – Tom Sheldon, chair of governors at Bowes and Chesterfield primary said: “When schools are faced with conditions like these, we have to decide what is best for children. In the absence of any formal advice from government we decided to keep children inside today (2 Apr 2014) as a precaution…But we can’t do this forever, and in London we face the much wider problem of poor air quality every day. The Saharan dust will pass, but London will continue to fail its citizens on air quality. Children’s developing lungs are at particular risk, both long- and short-term”. His last sentence echoed Prof. Kelly’s warning.

ONE CITIZEN’S COMPLAINT/WORRY Leanne Stewart said: ”We urgently need an intensive program of pollution reduction in the capital (London)”. Accompanying my son to school is usually quite an easy half-mile walk, but yesterday, I could feel my chest getting tighter and tighter, I went light-headed and had to get a bus back. …I’ve never had that problem before” Leanne’s son, George (age 8) had an asthma attack, and had to stop and use his inhaler. He felt like the air wasn’t getting into his lungs during his half-mile walk to school in Eltham, S.E. London.

ADULTS TOO MUST OBSERVE BREATHING PRECAUTIONS “The British Lung Foundation” urged people in affected areas who cycle, walk, or run to work to avoid doing so at rush hour, and to use backstreets if possible. People with lung conditions such as asthma, should avoid doing strenuous exercise outdoors. Dr Keith Prowse, the charity’s honorary medical adviser said: “Heavy air pollution, of the kind we’re seeing in several places across GB at the moment, can have a significant impact on people with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma, worsening symptoms such as coughing and breathlessness…When levels of air pollution are high, people with these conditions, or anyone else who finds themselves coughing or wheezing in times of high pollution, should avoid strenuous exercise outdoors, particularly around pollution hotspots such as busy roads. If the option is available, exercising in an air-conditioned gym or sports hall is preferable…If they cycle, run or walk to work, commuting at times other than rush hour or along back streets is also advisable. People with lung conditions who use a reliever inhaler should make sure that they carry it with them. If they feel their condition is worsening at all, they should contact their Physician”. Enough said for the wise!

Thanks to “The Guardian”-(GB) for sharing this story. We have condensed it, but commend it to you for its accompanying photos, and illustrations.>


Alas! De je vu all over again! While this story is centered on the nefarious effects of Smog in children; unfortunately, it applies to all air breathing creatures (including adult humans). Smog is not new to London, home of the Industrial revolution (c. 1830). Fortunately, or unfortunately, Brits have always excelled in the design of engines of all kinds, and have produced some of the world’s finest machinery of all sorts. What may well have kick-started the industrial revolution was the invention of the Watt stationary steam engine, and subsequent derivative external combustion engines used in factories, locomotives, ships, etc. Unfortunately, all such engines were most easily fueled by coal, thus contributing to improved coal mining, improved production and leading to GB dominance in the world markets for finished goods during the Victorian era. All this required ever greater amounts of coal being burned as the best available source of energy. London had always relied in coal for home heating, only then, it was a much smaller city.

THE USA TOOK A SIMILAR ROUTE TO PROGRESS The same process took place in USA a few years later. Bottom line is the birth of KING COAL there here and everywhere. As we have learned since, not all coal is of the same quality, but its combustion is a huge contributor to air pollution; furthermore autos/trucks also make significant contribution to air pollution; notably in cities. Today air pollution (smog) is characterized as “Particulate matter (dust)”, noxious gasses: Sulfurous oxides, nitrogenous oxides, industrial by-products. Stationary sources” such as: Coal-fired Utilities, Petro-chemical refineries, other heavy industrial s such as steel, metals, and even corn/foods processing plants. PROBLEM IS: These greedy folks won’t do a dammed thing to clean-up their act.

ENTER: REV. ROBERT MALTHUS A sad chapter in GB, and world history, was the credence given by Industrialists of the Industrial revolution to the socio-economic theories of Rev. Robert Malthus.(1766- 1834). He was the 7th son of a well-to-do family who became a cleric, and was reputed to be a great orator despite a hereditary harelip condition. Said Malthus: “Yet, in all societies, even those that are most vicious, the tendency to a virtuous attachment is so strong that there is a constant effort towards an increase of population. This constant effort as constantly tends to subject the lower classes of the society to distress and to prevent any great permanent amelioration of their condition”. Malthus argued in his Essay (1798) that population growth generally expanded in times and in regions of plenty, until the size of the population relative to the primary resources caused distress, often interpreted as: “Give the lower classes enough to eat, and they will reproduce until they outstrip the land’s resources; so it is best they be kept too tired and hungry to be amorous”. Apparently, Industrialists everywhere agreed with Malthus that it was beneficial for the working class to be kept over-worked, and underfed – “for their own good”. Malthus’ thinking lost credence among his peers long before his death (one supposes it was not longer “politically correct”); Even so, American Industrialists J.D. Rockefeller, and others in America, evidently adopted Malthus’ thinking, and mistreated/ overworked their workers – But not for long! It should be noted that such a philosophy toward workers has been was independently pursued by many others, including Mao Tse Tung, and that Malthusian thinking still echoes in the ranks of Conservative politicians in the USA today. IT IS CLEAR TO ME THEY SEE THE CURRENT WAGE DISPARITY AS NECESSARY TO THEIR DOMINANCE AND PERSONAL PROFIT. Thinking prevails, and not for naught, that power and privilege still abounds in America.

GETTING BACK TO “KILLER POLLUTION” It may be argued that London saw worse coal air pollution during the Industrial revolution, but that in no way benefits now highly industrialized London. In truth, today’s killer pollution is in many ways more toxic than any seen in GB before. It is dogmatic, that while all air pollution blows somewhere, it almost always affects most direly those who produce it. That takes us back to the citizens of London current preoccupation; specially, regarding their children and those with respiratory impairments. The comments by leading British authorities regarding steps to take to mitigate the smog damage to human health should resonate among those cities afflicted by similar smog conditions. Oh yes! There are too many to count. Let us all take counsel, and look for ways to cease/desist coal burning and limit petrol burning as well. It is killing us. There are technical advances looming that could eliminate fossil fuel burning in the future. We must steel ourselves, and our children, to survive until that brave new world arrives. Let’s hang in there! That is what we do in Texas too.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

P.S. We are happy to announce that our readership doubled in Mar 2014 over the previous month. Welcome to our new readers! Perhaps some of you are passing out the word about us. We will continue to strive to provide you with a fresh viewpoint you are not likely to find elsewhere. As always, we do not solicit or accept funding for this publication as a social service.


April 3, 2014 at 9:35 PM Comments (2)


16 Jan 2014

                                                                                            US-EPA WANTS US TO KNOW

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Statement to Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the President’s Climate Action Plan

WASHINGTON – Remarks of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy as prepared for delivery on 16 Jan 2014:

1. Chairman Boxer, Ranking Member Vitter, members of the Committee: Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.

2. In June of last year (2013), the President reaffirmed his commitment to reducing carbon pollution when he directed many federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, to take meaningful steps to mitigate the current and future damage caused by carbon dioxide emissions and to prepare for the anticipated climate changes that have already been set in motion.

3. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Based on the evidence, more than 97% of climate scientists are convinced that human-caused climate change is occurring. If our changing climate goes unchecked, it will have devastating impacts on the United States and the planet. Reducing carbon pollution is critically important to the protection of Americans’ health and the environment upon which our economy depends.

4. Responding to climate change is an urgent public health, safety, national security, and environmental imperative that presents an economic challenge and an economic opportunity. As the President has stated, both the economy and the environment must provide for current and future generations, and we can and must embrace cutting carbon pollution as a spark for business innovation, job creation, clean energy and broad economic growth. The United States’ success over the past 40 years makes clear that environmental protection and economic growth go hand in hand.

5. The President’s Climate Action Plan directs federal agencies to address climate change using existing executive authorities. The Plan has three key pillars: cutting carbon pollution in America; preparing the country for the impacts of climate change; and leading international efforts to combat global climate change.

6. Cutting Carbon Pollution EPA plays a critical role in implementing the Plan’s first pillar, cutting carbon pollution. Over the past four years, EPA has begun to address this task under the Clean Air Act.

7. Our first steps addressed motor vehicles, which annually emit nearly a third of U.S. carbon pollution. EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the auto industry and other stakeholders, worked together to set greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for Model Year 2012 to 2025 light-duty vehicles. Over the life of these vehicles, the standards will save an estimated $1.7 trillion for consumers and businesses and cut America’s oil consumption by 12 billion barrels, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons.

8. EPA’s and NHTSA’s standards for model year 2014 through 2018 heavy-duty trucks and buses present a similar success story. Under the President’s Plan, we will be developing a second phase of heavy-duty vehicle standards for post 2018 model years. Building on this success, the President asked EPA to work with states, utilities and other key stakeholders to develop plans to reduce carbon pollution from future and existing power plants.

9. Power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. In March 2012, the EPA first proposed carbon pollution standards for future power plants. After receiving over 2.5 million comments, we determined to issue a new proposed rule based on this input and updated information.

10. In September 2013, the EPA announced its new proposal. The proposed standards would establish the first uniform national limits on carbon pollution from future power plants. They will not apply to existing power plants. The proposal sets separate national limits for new natural gas-fired turbines and new coal-fired units. New large natural gas-fired turbines would need to emit less than 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, while new small natural gas-fired turbines would need to emit less than 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. New coal-fired units would need to emit less than 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. Operators of these units could choose to have additional flexibility by averaging their emissions over multiple years to meet a somewhat tighter limit.

11. The standards reflect the demonstrated performance of efficient, lower carbon technologies that are currently being used today. They set the stage for continued public and private investment in technologies like efficient natural gas and carbon capture and storage. The proposal was recently published in the Federal Register on January 8 2014,>!opendocument> and the formal public comment period is now open. We look forward to robust engagement on the proposal and will carefully consider the comments and input we receive as a final rule is developed.

12. As noted, the proposed rule would apply only to future power plants. For existing plants, we are engaged in outreach to a broad group of stakeholders who can inform the development of proposed guidelines, which we expect to issue in June of this year. These guidelines will provide guidance to States, which have the primary role in developing and implementing plans to address carbon pollution from the existing plants in their states. We recognize that existing power plants require a distinct approach, and this framework will allow us to capitalize on state leadership and innovation while also accounting for regional diversity and providing flexibility.

13. The EPA’s stakeholder outreach and public engagement in preparation for this rulemaking is extensive and vigorous. We held eleven public listening sessions around the country at EPA regional offices and our headquarters in Washington, DC. We have participated in numerous meetings with a broad range of stakeholders across the country. And all of this is happening well before we propose any guidelines. When we issue proposed guidelines in June, the more formal public process begins – including a public comment period and an opportunity for a public hearing – which will provide yet further opportunity for stakeholders and the general public to provide input.

14. Cutting Methane Emissions The Climate Action Plan calls for the development of a comprehensive, interagency strategy to address emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that also contributes to ozone pollution, but which has substantial economic value. EPA is working with other agencies to assess emissions data, address data gaps, and identify opportunities to reduce methane emissions through incentive-based programs and existing authorities.

15. Curbing Emissions of HFCs The Plan also calls on the US to lead through international diplomacy as well as domestic action to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases whose emissions are otherwise expected to nearly triple by 2030. Moving forward, the EPA will use its authority under the Clean Air Act to encourage the investment, purchase, and use of climate-friendly alternatives.

16. Preparing for Impacts of Climate Change Even as we work to avoid dangerous climate change, we must strengthen America’s resilience to climate impacts we’re already experiencing and those that can no longer be avoided. The President’s Plan calls for a broad array of actions on this front. EPA is incorporating research on climate impacts into the implementation of our existing programs and developing information and tools to help decision-makers – including State, local and tribal governments – to better understand and address these impacts. Further, EPA is working closely with our federal agency counterparts on several other aspects of building our national resilience, including developing the National Drought Resilience Partnership, ensuring the security of our freshwater supplies, protecting our water utilities, and protecting and restoring our natural resources in the face of a changing climate.

17. International Efforts Our changing climate is also a global challenge, and the President’s Plan recognizes that the United States must couple action at home with leadership abroad. Working closely with the State Department, EPA continues to engage our international partners in reducing carbon pollution through an array of activities. These include public-private partnership efforts to address emissions of methane and other short-lived climate pollutants under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the Global Methane Initiative, as well as bilateral cooperation with major economies.

18. Conclusion  The President’s Plan provides a roadmap for federal action to meet the pressing challenge of a changing climate – promoting clean energy solutions that capitalize on American innovation and drive economic growth. EPA looks forward to working with other federal agencies and all stakeholders on these critical efforts.

19. Thank you again for the opportunity to testify, and I look forward to answering your question

                                                                                        OUR TAKE AND COMMENTS

Gina McCarthy’s EPA Administrators Statement to US Senate Committee on 16 Jan 2013 above was provided by their own site> , and is provided for your convenience.  We added Paragraph numbers 1-19 for easy referral purposes, and added emphasis where we thought it was needed.

“A SNOW JOB” IS AN APT DESCRIPTION OF THE EPA STATEMENT TO THE SENATE. Light, fluffy and non-controversial, but deeply lacking in substantive content and evidence of statement. It is a classical  “statement by committee” addenda of “meaningful steps “ (see par 2.).  The prime and immediate concern was partially addressed in par. 9. Power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. That heavy issue was treated only for future power plants

Gina’s Statement, and the many senatorial questions that followed, were aired live on C-Span 2 TV, and re-run subsequently and…Folks, the questions posed were mainly: “Hardball” questions asked by now impatient Senators (on both sides of the Senate); that went largely unanswered by a Gina McCarthy, who seemed nonplused, unresponsive, and at times seemed to say: Are you talking to me?!-Senators do not take such unresponsiveness lightly.  It was quite clear that Senators in the Committee wanted knowledgeable answers, and statement of EPA policies, We feel sure many a Senator felt like knocking on Gina’s forehead and saying “anybody home ?”. THAT WAS NO WAY TO HOLD A HEARING ! In the end, Chairperson Sen. Ms. Boxer (D-CA), summed-up the Committees’ general dissatisfaction by charging Gina with another Hearing within 2 weeks (30 Jan 2014), and to provide written answers to the many unanswered questions. One Senator commented that EPA’s rulings impact public health. A pointed question by a Senator was: YOU DO REALIZE THAT EPA DIRECTIVES IMPACT BIG MONIES FROM THE UTILITIES AND INDUSTRIES?  Implicit was, Gina, you would not take money for favors granted? Would you?

WOULD GINA DO IT?. Well.  It could happen. It has happened many times in the past, involving well known, highly placed governmental figures such as then VP Cheney.  But how do these things happen ?  One well trod road to future riches is Davos, Switzerland. Point is: Gina McCarthy has planned a trip to Davos Switzerland on 22 to 25 Jan 2014.  >!opendocument  She is ostensibly going there to address the “World Economic Forum”. question is, how can Gina know so much about World Economics, when she obviously knows little about the USA EPA Administration ? Also, why would she make such a trip when she is in hot-water with the USA Senate Committee on Environment,  and pending the grilling of her life? Oh well, traditionally all government officials who travel to Davos, leave there with a big smile.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT DAVOS SWITZERLAND? Although its population is only about 11,000 of the world’s elite, and richest people; whose only real flag is MONEY, it also has Swiss banks (As of 2008, there were 327 authorized banks and securities dealers in Switzerland), as well as the POST OFFICE which handles some financial transactions, and use an electronic payments system known as Swiss Interbank Clearing (SIC). The system is supervised by the Swiss National Bank, and is operated via a joint venture. SIC handled over 250  million transactions in 2005, with a turnover value of 41 trillion Swiss francs. Its world offices are located in New York City. All that is required to open an account at one of Davos’ Banks, is to visit one, sign on the dotted line, and obtain a unique alpha numerical code to which money may be added by another party(s) who was given the code.  Money can then be electronically transferred to another account by the the owner(s)-ALL IN SECRECY OF COURSE!  Now, does Gina’s visit to Davos make sense?  It does to me. In my opinion, Gina McCarthy has found her US-EPA position untenable, and is ready to cash-in her chips for favors granted.  We’ll see.


4. The response given in the last sentence is simply a “many times told outright lie”, and that does not make it true.  The USA is  not now, and has never been, “environmentally sweaky-clean”  And yet, even now, Gina Mc Carthy  has deferred action on plans for existing fossil fueled utilities to a future date (not given).

10. (Proposed Standards): They will not apply to existing (fossil fueled) power plants”-That’s so, more foot-dragging is anticipated/expected regarding existing fossil fuel power plants..

11. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). “The standards reflect the demonstrated performance of efficient, lower carbon technologies that are currently being used today. They set the stage for continued public and private investment in technologies like efficient natural gas and carbon capture and storage. The proposal was recently published in the Federal Register on January 8 2014″.  Incredibly, EPA Released on 12/19/2013 a statement: Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that helps create a consistent national framework to ensure the safe and effective deployment of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies. >!  Accepted view is that CCS IS NOT a “demonstrated technology”  This is an outright lie. EPA solicited public comment.  Our comment to US EPA follows.  No response to day.


16 Jan 2014

You can already locate/quantify the greatest existing coal-fired polluters in the country. Why don’t you take immediate action to require these Power plant owners/operators to submit a plan to reduce emissions ASAP? What are you waiting for?

Ms. McCarthy’s optimism/reliance on Carbon Sequestration Compression and Disposal is ludicrous.  It will never be technically possible and/or socio-politically acceptable,  NIMBY ! Just “Pie in the Sky”, and you know it!

Speaking of “Clean-Coal” is also ludicrous. – There is no such;  Only partially “de-sulfurized coal’, the production of which itself will produce lakes of long term-pollutants with nowhere to go, and only slightly better than Nuclear waste.

Rapid transition to Nat Gas appears for now the best thing to do to accomplish cost-effective, rapid GHG reduction; Even then, we must encourage rapid development of Green Energy.  Fortunately, our Industry/governments are swiftly going there.

I know coal-burning is not the only issue on your plate , but, given our Nat-gas abundance it may well be the most quickly remediable.

12. EXISTING FOSSIL-FUELED POWER PLANTS: “We recognize that existing power plants require a distinct approach, and this framework will allow us to capitalize on state leadership and innovation while also accounting for regional diversity and providing flexibility”. Given that this is the prime source of noxious and other Green House Gasses (GHGs), this is a painful cop-out !

16. (last sentence): “National Drought Resilience Partnership, ensuring the security of our freshwater supplies, protecting our water utilities, and protecting and restoring our natural resources in the face of a changing climate”- Pray tell more! – What is EPA doing? Our throats are parched in TX CA, and many other places.

17. International Efforts: Ms. McCarthy failed to report the results of her recent bi-lateral conference trip to China >  Four days in China and no trip report ?  Not good.

18. Conclusion  EPA looks forward to working with other federal agencies and all stakeholders on these critical efforts.” We think it is not just stakeholders (financially involved) such as Power Plant Owners, shareholders, operators, but also the utility public (users), academia, and other countries who see the USA as  an example – Imagine that!.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


Texas Governor Rick Perry too (also) is invited to Davos, Switzerland.  Another outgoing politician who gets an invite to address the WEF there. He too must have friends just waiting to show their gratitude for favors granted. What do you bet he will open a “Swiss bank account” while there ?  Just to think that he is making this Junket look as “official business”, he is very good at that.

We connect the dots, and tell it like it is! – We wish to be relevant in these days of hoopla / disinformation and misinformation.

P.S. We are happy to report that our readership during 2013 was about 40% higher than in 2012.  Even so, without RSS we ask you to please pass out the word about this blog, place us among your “favorites, and look-in on us from time to time.  One never knows when very important articles may be forthcoming.

We do welcome your comments on recent articles, but please stay on point. 




January 19, 2014 at 9:03 PM Comment (1)


06 DEC 2013

                                                                                              US – EPA WANTS US TO KNOW

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to Travel to China to Discuss US-China Clean Air and Climate Cooperation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will be in China on Monday, 09 Dec 2013 thru 12 Dec. to discuss US /China cooperation on air quality, climate pollution and environmental issues. She will travel to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong during her four-day visit.

WHILE IN CHINA, Administrator McCarthy plans to underscore steps China has already taken to address air pollution, additional steps to come, and how the United States and China can continue to work together. Highlights of her visit include co-chairing the U.S.-China Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation; delivering a keynote speech at Tsinghua University; and meeting with senior officials, business leaders and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

The U.S. and China represent the world’s largest economies, consumers of energy, and emitters of carbon pollution. Climate change is a shared challenge, and building on more than 30 years of successful cooperation and partnership, the United States and China must work together to build a clean energy economy for a healthier, safer planet.

Earlier this year (2013), President Obama announced a Climate Action Plan that outlines commonsense steps to cut carbon pollution from power plants, the biggest individual source of carbon pollution in the United States. In September, the EPA proposed standards for new power plants that are flexible, drive economic growth, and spark the clean energy innovation needed for a low-carbon economy.

China is taking action to address climate change while reducing traditional air pollution and promoting economic growth, and the U.S. stands ready to help.

All times local

Monday, December 9 (2013)

WHAT:  Opening Remarks at International Workshop on Fuel Desulfurization
WHEN: Monday, December 9, 9:40 am
WHERE: Ballroom 1&2, Regent Beijing Hotel

WHAT:  U.S. – China Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation
WHEN: Monday, December 9, 5:40 pm
WHERE: Villa 10, Diaoyutai Guesthouse

Tuesday, December 10

WHAT:  Keynote Speech and Town Hall Meeting at Tsinghua University
WHEN: Tuesday, December 10, 10:45 am
WHERE: Tsinghua University, School of Environment

Wednesday, December 11

WHAT:  China Council Green Business Roundtable on Corporate Social Responsibility
WHEN: Wednesday, December 11, 2:30 pm
WHERE: Sheraton Shanghai Pudong Hotel

Thursday, December 12

WHAT: Media availability with Christine Loh, Under Secretary for the Environment, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government
WHEN: Thursday, December 12th, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Berlin Suite, Basement Level, Regal Airport Hotel



THE PUBLISHED AGENDA CLEARLY INDICATES that Ms.McCarthy’s planned trip intends to focus on ways and means to reduce the emission toxicity of “Coal-Burning Industries/Power Plants; For instance: Day one intends to address “Fuel Desulfurization”; Surely the real concern is Coal as a fuel for industries/Power Plants because in many areas of the world, the available coal is what in the USA is considered “low quality coal” because it contains many particulate and chemical components.  Sulfur is one of the most prevalent and lethal, because when coal is burned, sulphur gas is given up into the atmosphere, where it combines with water (or rain) to form sulfuric acid, or “ACID RAIN”; Acid rain immediately attacks trees/forests, and reacts chemically with any limestone (alkaline) subterranean water aquifers (most of them are), and destroys them in the long run. Least we underestimate the toxic effect of acid rain on trees/forests, let us remember that trees are the only natural defense we have against carbon dioxide, because they clean the air and actually consume the carbon dioxide; If these are gone, so are we. Also affected by sulfur in the air, are most of the world’s sculptures and building facades, as well as very important Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and other Architectural Treasures.

Today, great contributors to ill health among humans and fauna are two coal combustion gasses: Sulfurous, and Nitrous oxides,. Unfortunately –these are already highly prevalent in many urban areas, and more so in China >, Mexico, and other places, where the air is some days actually “sickening”. Problem is that such gasses trend to remain at ground level on windless, or humid days, thus becoming even more noxious to humans. My City of San Antonio, TX is no exception, and on such days, I stay indoors, fortunately for me, as a retired person I can afford to do so.

OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST at the conclave, topics are: Environmental Cooperation, Corporate Social  Responsibility. Green Business, and a Town Hall Meeting (Probably polite questioning by local media (media availability), and hopefully, some timely questions/comments by students/faculty ? at “Tsinghua University, School of Environment”. Let there be no doubt that China has always known how to fete, and welcome their guests; This will be no exception. We did notice the glaring absence (in the agendas provided) regarding CLEAN AIR AND CLIMATE CHANGE COOPERATION per-se.


There is no doubt on my mind that EPA Chief, Ms. Mc Carthy, is a great defender of the Coal industry in general.  Perhaps because her Chief, US DOE Secretary Ernest E. Moniz, has even promised $8B for improvements to that Industry. Even so, Ms. Mc Carthy defends the coal Industry with natural zeal.  At a recent Congressional Hearing, she defended technical advances of the experimental technology known as “Carbon Sequestration, Compression and Disposal” (CSCD)  as the answer to Carbon Dioxide Production/elimination. Folks, she defended this technology with a fervor not found in any scientist/ or prudent Politician.  You may recall that CSCD, also implies the underground burial of carbon dioxide from Power Plants and Industry. Just consider the technical and socio-political challenges involved. Such technology has been under study for several years with no progress to date. When a town was approached several years ago about experimenting under their back yard they said: “Not in MY Back Yard !” MINE NEITHER !- Hell, fracking is enough!; Still, Ms McCarthy insisted to a US Representative that there are two (2) such experiments underway. One (somewhere) in the USA; the other in Canada, with US resources. The Conservative US Representative who asked the question knew she was talking “Pie in the Sky”.  McCarthy is probably funding them. It was clear to us that “Coal-burning” IS NOT her favorite subject: However given its weather/climate change potential, and other VITAL HEALTH CONCERNS, IT SHOULD BE!  She should be replaced, but won’t, because she wittingly, or unwittingly, protects regional energy barons’ interests.  And then there is the sad matter of our Nuclear Waste Disposal at Richland WA., But that is another story.>

Now is the time for Dan Utech, Pres. Obama’s new “Advisor on Energy and Climate Change”, to make a difference.  Do you suppose he was invited to the China /USA Bilateral talks ?  We suspect he was not, but should attend, even if only as an observer.  Given normal protocol he should be accorded a title of co-chairperson. >

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


December 6, 2013 at 2:12 AM Comments (0)


16 Nov 2013

WASHINGTON– Dan Utech, a long-time Washington insider, has been Appointed as President Obama’s new “Advisor on Energy and Climate Change”. Utech will assume his new position on (Monday) 11 Nov 2013  Dan Utech came to the Obama administration in 2010, and currently serves as the “White House Deputy-Director for Climate. He will replace the departing Energy and Climate Advisor, Heather Zichal, whose last day in office was 8 Nov 2013.

ABOUT DAN UTECH For the last 3 1/2 years, Utech has played a significant role in developing and implementing much of Pres. Obama’s energy and climate agenda.  Utech will also have the unenviable task of explaining to the public, the Administration’s stand on often-contentious energy and environmental issues, such as: The Keystone XL oil pipeline, and new rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.  Utech has experience with Congress that could prove helpful as he champions the White House’s energy and climate priorities.

UTECH IS A WASHINGTON “OLD-TIMER” Before joining the Obama administration, he worked in the Senate for 10 years, on the staff of the “Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee” and as Hillary Clinton’s top advisor on energy and environment issues. During the transition to Obama’s first term, Utech helped Secretary of Energy Steven Chu through the Senate confirmation process and then served as a senior advisor in the Energy Department.

ENVIRONMENTALIST Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council said: “Dan Utech is a leader, a seasoned expert, and the right person for this critical energy and climate post…He’s well-suited to carry forward the policies our country needs to expand clean energy, cut carbon pollution, address climate change, and protect health.”


THE AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE  Pres Jack Gerard, said : “We hope to have a productive relationship with Utech…We had a constructive working relationship with Heather Zichal, and wish her well as she moves on… We look forward to working with Dan Utech to promote the U.S. energy revolution that is creating jobs, sending more revenue to our government and making America more energy secure.”

Thanks to the LA TIMES, 8 Nov 2013 for the story.


TO TELL IT LIKE IT IS: Ms. Heather Sichal  is out (probably dismissed) , Mr. Dan Utech is promoted to her position as President Obama’s new “Advisor on Energy and Climate Change”.

WHAT MOTIVATED THE DISMISSAL/PROMOTION?  We may never learn the reasons, but as a former Federal Employee, I recall the axiom:  “If one is not doing the job, someone else will be assigned to assist you, then replace you”. Often true; always wise.

WHY DO SO MANY WELL-INTENTIONED APPOINTEES FAIL?  Well…When it comes to contentious issues such as Carbon dioxide gas emission (Coal-fired Power-Plants), and many other Industrial noxious fume generation, business as usual (Liaises-faire) is a luxury we cannot afford, or tolerate.  The time is now, to “Fish, or cut bait”. Our governments have to face the immediate need to move swiftly in an attempt to stem the tide of “extreme weather events” such as sustained droughts, prolonged rains/floods, tornados, hurricanes, typhoons, polluted air ailments, etc.  Even so, most governmental employees have shown a tendency to follow the axiom: “The wheels of government move extremely slowly, and grind exceedingly fine”.  Why no boy!-that won’t do now!  Humanity must realize that each day we allow greenhouse gasses to exist/proliferate costs many thousands (if not millions) of lives

OUR EPA IS TOO SLOW  USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is today, a good example of “business as usual”, albeit at an accelerated pace; which does not promise immediate action /relief from the Carbon Dioxide (Coal-Fired Utilities) paradigm. EPA has already held 11 Public Listening Sessions.  See between 23 Oct 2013 and 08 Nov 2013. The sessions were held to:“solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants”. We were informed that the sessions were to all accounts a success; regrettably, their higher-ups would make no comment to us.. Typically, about 60 persons were allowed 3 minutes each.  The participants were from academia, the Coal fired Utility Industry and its stakeholders, and the general public. It has not been disclosed what (if anything) was gleaned from the sessions, or exactly what information was sought. That initial round of Public listening Sessions is scheduled to be followed by an additional Public Input during the “Notice and comment period”, once the EPA issues a proposal by June 2014. (NO GREAT EXPECTATIONS) Evidently the way they see it, such plans were created concurrent with the Clean Air Act long ago, and they should be followed, but where does it say that?! A midcourse trajectory- correction is sorely needed; Unfortunately, US DOE Secretary Moniz is dedicated to helping the worldwide Coal Industry; So perhaps the EPA’s attitude reflects his attitude , In my opinion, what is needed now, is an EPA Director with balls to confront the coal Barons with their doings and to bring the full weight of our Government toward making them an offer they can’t refuse. THE HEALTH OF OUR CITIZENS SHOULD BE HIS /HER PRIME DIRECTIVE.

IN MY BOOK, EPA IS “FOOT-DRAGGING” We need to keep in mind that EPA already knows full well who the principal Carbon-fired Utilities are, and where they are located, and can even quantify the amount of pollutants they emit. See: In my mind it is the Shareholders, and Operators of such Utilities that should be asked by EPA to submit their plans for improvement ASAP, and for compliance dates. Problem is, they put profit above all else.-Hell! At least half of them could morph to burn Nat-Gas within a year if they so willed it. It is even cheaper than coal, but changes cost money.  See what I mean!. EPA should not think that the coal-Industry will ever love them, not when they are being told to spend money, but that is alright!  “It is better to be feared than loved” -Nicolo Machiavelli (c. 1,500 AD).  We don’t love the IRS either, but we comply – Don’t we?.

ENTER DAN UTECH – STAGE LEFT. We must recognize that Dan Utech is not on the chain of command for the EPA, and that is good, because as Pres Obama’s “Advisor on Energy and Climate Change” He may speak independently/directly to the President (it is known as “having the ear of the president”) at anytime regarding recommendations/ ways-and-means to bring about what he (and his staff) believe could be done to accelerate and empower the EPA in its efforts to accelerate Carbon reduction goals ASAP. Utech’s many years of experience in the field, and the Washington scene, marks him as a potential Very Important Person (VIP) in the Obama administration, and a powerful advocate for Carbon reduction goals. Let us hope his heart is in the right place, because Carbon dioxide pollution reduction cannot wait. The reduction of Global warming is far more important than the financial interests of coal Barons, and time is of the essence.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


November 16, 2013 at 7:26 PM Comments (0)


18 Oct 2013

READ ALL ABOUT IT! The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  has scheduled eleven (11) public listening sessions across the USA to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. Each session will begin with brief introductory remarks followed by EPA listening to public input about reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants.  All public listening sessions are planned between 23 Oct 2013, and 8 Nov 2013.  That, is a “short-fuse” for such ambitious plans!. Please note that EPA is proposing to set separate standards for natural gas(Nat Gas)-fired utilities and coal-fired units. For now, we are talking about: Coal-burners

The Clean Air Act gives both EPA and states a role in reducing air pollution from power plants that are already in operation.  The law directs EPA to establish guidelines, which states use to design their own programs to reduce emissions.  Before proposing guidelines, EPA must consider how power plants with a variety of different configurations would be able to reduce carbon pollution in a cost-effective way.  It is hoped/anticipated that the feedback from these 11 public-listening sessions will play an important role in helping EPA develop smart, cost-effective guidelines that reflect the latest and best information available.  The agency will seek additional public input during the notice and comment period once it issues a proposal by June 2014.


NEW YORK NY, 23 OCT 2013


DENVER CO, 30 OCT 2013





DALLAS, TX, 7 NOV 2013




For more specific information, and Points of Contact(POCs) See


GOOD TO SEE THE EPA IS STILL ALIVE, Well…maybe. It is one agency Republican conservatives would like to do away with, or at least hamstring into impotency.  King Coal-fired electrical and industrial facilities need to be exposed as the USA’s worst air polluters.  Americans everywhere know this, and want coal replaced by Nat Gas (or green energy) wherever, and as soon as possible.  The fact that EPA has scheduled 11 Public and Stakeholders meetings over the next two months is evidence EPA priorities are well-placed.

WHAT WILL THE 11 MEETINGS BE LIKE?  Probably very much like the USA Congress recently.  On one side we should have the now well informed American citizens pointing their finger at the most notorious offenders in their respective region.(One suspects the EPA will value such information and public outrage in their assessment and deliberations)  On the other side of the divide, the Coal-fired power-plant owners (Stakeholders/shareholders), and the Operators of such Utilities will claim : Carbon ? Who? Not we!  Our coal DOES NOT STINK.  It is of the finest quality anthracite, and besides, coal created air pollution is not worse now than in the last 100 years (Americans are not fooled).  AH!, but it is much worse because of the recent proliferation of coal-fired Utilities in recent years, not the least of which is caused by the universal rejection of Nuclear Power-Plants (NPPs)by a now well informed public about nuclear waste.

BURNING OF COAL FOR ENERGY GENERATION MAKES NO SENSE NOW.  A recent Gallup poll makes that issue crystal clear See and yet; here in San Antonio, Texas, our two (2) coal-burner plants at Calaveras (Skulls) lake (Spruce I, and II), together generate about 1,240 Mw, and consume about one train-load of coal daily/each.  That coal is brought from Gillette Co., WY. Transported about 1,500 miles in trains owned /maintained / financed by our “CPS Energy” public-owned Utility.  THE RUB IS: About 50 miles south of San Antonio, TX   lies the “Eagle-Ford Oil and Gas” huge development/enterprise looking for ways to sell their Nat-gas, and CPS-Energy won’t even look their way.  It would be relatively inexpensive/quick to convert such plants to Nat-gas and CPS-Energy knows it, BUT…

CPS ENERGY (A PUBLIC-OWNED CORP.) FEELS COMPELLED TO BURN ONLY COAL.   They somehow, feel compelled to buy coal from Ex-V.P. Cheney’s empire. Perhaps they have a sweetheart deal, and claim they are waiting for the EPA to mandate a change.  That is a hell of a cop-out, specially when San Antonio now has more than 60 days per year of air pollution alerts created by ozone and many other carcinogens. Honestly, the news media just says:“Just stay inside if you do not have to go outside”. There is no doubt in my mind that San Antonio Citizens are paying a much higher price than their monthly utility bill in terms of health maintenance costs, ill health, and shorter life spans. We need to remember that we could cut our carbon emissions, and other pollution at least in half by burning only Nat Gas for power generation.  How quickly we forget that in 1984 San Antonio, TX used Nat Gas only.

PLIGHT OF THE MANY OFFERS LITTLE CONSOLATION. It is of little consolation to realize that San Antonio is not alone in its air pollution plight, and that the same problem is being experienced big-time all over the USA, and in many other countries such as Mexico, and China. Still we must all do what we can to slow down global warming, and to keep from suffocating. Have you noticed in the world news, how many citizens are now wearing face masks to ward-off air pollution. IT IS TRULY SAD!- Perhaps bitching loudly to the EPA, now that we are given a chance, may give rise to greater awareness about the need to do something about the problem NOW! If you reside in one of the cities listed above, and are a concerned citizen, PLEASE ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

October 18, 2013 at 11:43 PM Comments (0)


31 Aug 2013

US Dept of Energy (DOE) Secretary  Ernest Moniz argues that President Obama’s plan to combat climate change is not, as critics allege, a “war on coal,” . In a speech at Columbia University in New York (about 26 Aug 2013). Moniz said: “This action has been applauded by many as the most significant step the president can take to reduce carbon emissions…This directive has also been derided by some as an action  have potentially a place in the low-carbon world.” …Pres. Obama has described his energy policy as “all of the above,” meaning a variety of energy sources, both conventional and unconventional, will be used….All of the above’ means we will invest in the technology, research, development and demonstration so that all of our energy sources can be enabled as marketplace competitors in a low-carbon energy world…The administration has said it would revamp an $8 billion federal loan-guarantee program to help companies reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. Pres. Obama is seeking government investment in technology to make fossil fuels, including coal, burn cleaner, he said. The new plan expands eligibility for federal loans to proposals that reduce emissions from oil and gas drilling, and for energy-efficiency efforts such as capturing waste heat from large industrial facilities to make electricity. Clean-coal projects also remain eligible for aid” (CLEAN COAL ?)

REGARDING ENERGY DIVERSITY Sec. Moniz said: “In Pres. Obama’s first presidential term, carbon pollution fell as a depressed economy led Americans to drive less, and low Nat Gas prices prompted utilities to shutter carbon-heavy coal plants, and burn gas for electricity…This year, coal use and Carbon emissions are up and forecast to grow in the years ahead, jeopardizing Pres. Obama’s 2009 pledge to cut greenhouse gases 17% by 2020…I am not here to debate what’s not debatable, (referring to the scientific consensus around climate change), We will focus on doing all that we can with current administrative authorities.”

FRACKING AND THE NAT GAS BOOM.  Moniz noted that: “the U.S. Nat Gas boom has played a major role in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. That boom in gas production has been enabled by hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technique that has been blamed for water pollution. .if you look at each of the issues with fracking, well completions, surface water management, methane emissions, they are manageable in the sense that one knows what one has to do…They’re not always managed so that’s where it is absolutely essential to have the best practices all the time.

Thanks to Bloomberg for their quotations.


In June 2013, The White House outlined policies to lower U.S. pollution blamed for global warming, including limits on emissions from new and existing coal-fired power plants. The announcement drew fire from coal producers and lawmakers from coal-producing states (“It’s always the hit dog that yelps!”). The U.S. had been on a path to reaching Pres. Obama’s goal, with emissions last year down more than 12 % from the peak in 2007, the steepest drop since the oil crisis of the late 1970s since 2006.  These remarks to a Columbia University by Sec Moniz, seem to outline his speech at the IAEA in Vienna, earlier this year. See: US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SECRETARY MONIZ SHOWS HIS TRUE COLORS IN VIENNA @

We are sorry to say that Moniz always tells audiences what most of us already know, and have known for some time. There is nothing new in his remarks;  Indeed, we find his remarks trivial, sometimes contradictory, and frequently incoherent in their context. What do you think?  Regrettably, Sec. Moniz shows no inclination toward real cooperation with The White House, or to have a vision for our energy future;  However, at his pay level, one must :”Either lead, follow, or get out of the way”; Fortunately, Moniz is inclined to do the later, and that is good because our USA energy industry is rapidly becoming the envy of the world without his help.  We must now look to the EPA to protect our environment, and to attempt to keep the fossil, and nuclear energy industries in check as best can.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

August 31, 2013 at 12:48 AM Comments (0)


2 JULY 2013

US ENERGY SECRETARY MONIZ ATTENDED THE IAEA ANNUAL MEETING IN VIENNA.  On 30 Jun 2013 Moniz was interviewed by Reuters. He went to attend the annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency-IAEA; Secretary Moniz said: “Obama expects fossil fuels, and coal specifically, to remain a significant contributor for some time…The way the U.S. administration is looking at it is: what does it take for us to do to make coal part of a low carbon future…this would include higher efficiency plants and new ways of utilizing coal…It is all about having, in fact, coal as part of that future…I don’t believe it is a ‘war on coal’.” Moniz acknowledged there could be winners and losers, but that economic models belie “the statement that there are huge economic impacts from controlling greenhouse gases…Quite the contrary. We expect that this is going to be positive for the economy” THERE IS NO DOUBT IN OUR MIND THAT MONIZ WENT TO VIENNA TO ASSUAGE THE ENERGY BARONS THERE ASSEMBLED THAT THEY HAVE A FRIEND IN THE USA – MEANING HIMSELF! (Yes, the one with the Ben Franklin coiffure).

SECRETARY MONIZ SAID HE WAS OPTIMISTIC… that the United States would meet its goal to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to about 17 % below 2005 levels by 2020. “We’re pretty close to the track right now. We’re halfway there…An $8 billion loan guarantee program for projects to develop new technologies that help cut emissions of fossil fuels would include Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology as one of a number of options…It will also include some advanced technologies for using coal very different from today’s technologies that will enable much less expensive carbon capture in future”.  CCS is a relatively new, expensive and unproven technology that captures carbon dioxide and buries it. (YEAH!  SWEEPING IT UNDER THE CARPET, PROBLEM IS, EVERYONE INVOLVED IN PAST ATTEMPTS HAS SAID: NOT IN MY BACKYARD – NIMBY!)

Thanks to Reuters for their excellent quotes, even if they missed the real Vienna story.

SECRETARY MONIZ ALSO ADDRESSED THE IAEA ANNUAL MEETING.  On 1 July 2013, Sec. Moniz made official remarks to the IAEA as posted in the DOE news organ: .  Of course he would have to say something about “nuclear security”, after all, that is the IAEA Trump card now that their real purpose has been exposed: To promote the interests of global Energy industries (both nuclear, and fossil fuels). We find it perplexing and irritating that Moniz who is willing to speak in Vienna Austria, has been unwilling to inform the people of the USA what his agenda and plans are.  All his statements to date indicate he sees himself as a “remover of obstacles” to the energy industry (a rubber stamp, if you will).  That is not what the USA/world needs at this critical time in global history.

THE WHITE HOUSE CLIMATE WARMING REPORT/PLAN OPPOSED. Naturally, the long-awaited White House plan drew criticism from the coal industry, which would be hard hit by carbon limits, and from Republicans, who accused the Democratic president of advancing policies that harm the economy, and kill jobs.  Senator Joe Manchin, (D -W.V), the No. 2 U.S. coal mining state after Wyoming, said the last week of June 2013, that Obama had “declared a war on coal,”  The coal industry said the rules threatened its viability. But…

GALLUP POLLS IN THE USA SHOW: UP WITH GREEN, DOWN WITH COAL Please read  Environmentalists have largely cheered the White house proposals, though many said the moves did not go far enough, or had sufficient authority for implementation.  Comprehensive as the White house Energy Assessment/proposals are, they have no mechanism for implementation.  Problem is, that speaking in management terms: “That which is everyone’s responsibility, is no one’s responsibility”.  We believe what is needed is for Pres. Obama to convene the Cabinet Secretaries, DOE, DOI, and the Environmental Protection agency to draft a joint plan of action to combat global warming.  Talking about it won’t do! And working separately would fail because their Departmental responsibilities /functions sometimes overlap; Hence the need for cooperation and streamlining of their joint effort. Past Cabinet chiefs Salazar (DOI) and Chu (DOE) had already found the need for collaboration. For now, they are all “flying their own kite”.

PRES OBAMA PUT HIS PRESTIGE ON THE LINE last week to revive his stalled climate change agenda, promising new rules to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants, and other domestic actions including support for renewable energy Obama said he had directed the Environmental Protection Agency to craft new emissions rules for thousands of power plants, the bulk of which burn coal and which account for roughly one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. With Congress unlikely to pass climate legislation, Obama said his administration would set rules using executive powers.  So sad that our congress won’t sh-t, or get off the pot!  Even on timely crucial issues.

OUR TAKE…THE US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) STINKS UNDER MONIZ.  Ernest Moniz, who has been unwilling to concede a press conference (other than to his own Department PR news branch), considered it necessary to travel to Vienna, Austria to assuage the Board of Governors of the IAEA (at their annual conference), not to worry, because they have a friend in the USA – No doubt himself, according to his remarks.  Let me refresh your mind about the IAEA. It exists to further the worldwide interests of the fossil and nuclear energy industry.  It is located in Vienna Austria with its 2,300 employee “Secretariat”.  COUNTRIES WITH EXISTING MEMBERS ON THE IAEA BOARD OF GOVERNORS ARE:  Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Niger, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and the United Republic of Tanzania.  WE ARE NOT PRIVILEGED TO KNOW THE GOVERNORS’ NAMES; however, THEY ARE WORLD-CLASS ENERGY BARONS – ONE AND ALL!  Please read:  

PRES. OBAMA DID NOT CHOOSE WISELY WHEN NOMINATING MONIZ.  Perhaps he did so in an attempt at Congressional “Sausage making”.  Moniz shows no inclination to follow Pres. Obama’s lead in regard to energy.  Pres. Obama has now appointed two (2) “ducies” (Chu, Moniz) in a row to the post of  Energy Secretary; Both professors, Doctors, and accountable or responsible to no one. With all due respect Mr. President, your political acumen in both selections is sorely lacking.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

We tell it like it is!

July 2, 2013 at 9:09 PM Comments (0)

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